Over the last seven decades, Batman’s hometown of Gotham City has become a one-size-fits-all symbol for the absolute worst notions of the American urban environment. Essentially a stand-in for every mid-century American metropolis filtered through the darkest recess of H.P. Lovecraft’s brain, Gotham City has been played on film by New York, Chicago, Pittsburgh, and even Hong Kong. I always assumed that Gotham City, like the other bizarro-cities in the DC Universe, resided in a made-up American state – Fakesota, say, or New South Delginia.
But in an intriguing throwaway bit of lore uncovered by Buzzfeed in the 1990 edition of “The Atlas Of The DC Universe,” Gotham City apparently resides in New Jersey – a revelation which, if nothing else, seems guaranteed to hinder Governor Chris Christie’s presidential campaign, what with the fact that the largest city in his state is a veritable haven for organized crime and criminals with clown fetishes. But enough about Newark! Doing a bit more digging over at the DC Comics Database, it would appear that Superman’s hometown of Metropolis is officially in New York – which, if I understand my geography correctly, would mean that Metropolis sits right across the river from a city inhabited entirely by miserable people who occasionally get terrorized by overly muscular bald dudes wearing tank tops. But enough about Jersey City!
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